Coming election & my school days

In Political governance on 22/07/2011 at 6:57 am

While bathing my dogs yesterday, I remembered something from my RI librarian days that has parallels with the coming presidential election.

The day-to-day running of the library was left to elected student leaders. No big deal as all the leaders elected were from the same mould as the typical librarian: quiet, hardworking and never challenging the system. But one yr, when I was one of the leaders, there was a problem.

The problem was that we had the equivalent of Dr Chee Soon Juan (Oh alright, I exaggerate: a Tan Kin Lian) among the junior librarians. There was this hyper-active boy who was extremely bright but “lazy”, and forever challenging authority, i.e. us. He was extremely popular with the other junior librarians for that reason. How he ever got through the selection process to be a librarian still puzzles me to this day.

Anyway a mgt meeting was called to talk abt how we would  work with him if he got elected? The consensus was we couldn’t work with him.  In hindsight, this showed how arrogant and dumb we were. We outnumbered him and could outvote him.

So then could we fix him either before or after the election? Should we campaign against him, warning the junior librarians that they would suffer retribution if they elected him.

Doesn’t this all sound very, very familiar? There is concern that we,”daft” S’poreans will vote in an “unsuitable” president?” Unsuitable” being defined as one who could (note not “will not”) refuse to play by the rules of  those with executive power?

Coming back to my story, after a lot of discussion, it was decided that the best (and only honourable) thing we could do was to let things be, and hope the junior librarians would reject him.

Which in typical S’porean fashion is what they did. They didn’t want a trouble maker as a leader and so betrayed him despite him fighting for their rights, and them egging him on on the quiet.

So come election day, if it is either a three- or four- Tan race, TT would win. The voters will vote against their conscience, not on the merits of the candidates.

  1. Maybe its too convenient, but at the end of the day, the old adage rings true – people do get the government that they deserve. This holds true whether it is a monarchy, dictatorship or democracy.

    There’s no tradition of liberalism here, and since its non-existent, its easier for people with aspirations for higher ideals just to permanently leave Singapore.

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  3. I seriously hope it does not come down to voters voting against their own conscience. It would be a sad, sad day if that were to come to pass.

    • Remember JBJ and friends “near defeats” at Eunos and Cheng San in the 1990s, and the closeness in East Coast, and Potong Pasir at this election?

      I’m sure that many people voted against their conscience as an easy way out.

  4. Your recollection is typical of the mindset of the Singaporean electorate pre 7 May 2011. However, now that the 40% has been ‘awakened’ by the recent GE, there might be a few more from the 60% who might be brave enough to vote with the conscience. After all, the EP has no real powers, so its not like we’re voting the government.

    • In 1991, 41% were awakened, Then they went back to sleep until 2006.
      Never overestimate the civic conscience of the voters.

  5. Well, me just like to say that the school librarians have much duty to do to organize the school library and there plenty of work.
    As for the President Of Sin, he/she is more like a flower vase, more for window dressing than any other purpose.
    When it comes to voting for the Sin President, if there is contest, my personal take is that Tony Tan will stand a very slim chance as not many believe he is independent and worse he is perceived to be a perpetual PAP Man, combine the disbelief and the perception, the trust will just evaporates by itself.
    Many Singaporeans also perceive the President Of Sin as part of the Government and hence do not trust that he/she will check his/her master.

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